It’s Tuesday morning, and the Paragon team are back to reality after spending the weekend over in Monaco for the Grand Prix. Before she had time to get lost in the inbox, I sat down with Amanda, who was responsible for the smooth sailing (so to speak) of the Paragon Superyacht.
Hi Amanda! Welcome back. How are you feeling?
Knackered! I don’t know about the rest of the team, but I am exhausted. Managing the yacht was so much fun, but it was a lot of hard work. You meet so many incredible guests that you really just want to sit down and have a glass of wine with them… unfortunately, someone has to keep an eye on the running order! I did get to go out on Sunday night though, so I can’t complain too much.
We’ve had some really great feedback from the weekend. What was your favourite bit?
It’s a bit of a boring answer, but my favourite bit was just generally being on a yacht in Monaco! It’s such a cool feeling. Most of the team obviously thought Sunday was the best day, but I think the yacht party is especially good, because everyone’s fresh and excited, ready for the weekend ahead.
That’s our Friday Night Yacht Party?
Yes. This year we sold out within a few months of going on sale, which just shows what a fab start to the evening it is. We always have a DJ on-board, but I like to start the evening with something live. This year we had a live saxophonist, and it went down an absolute storm. It’s not really a proper dancy atmosphere – just people chilling out, having a good time.
There were a few famous faces on board this year. Were there any good moments you can share?
My favourite this year was Paul di Resta & Simon Lazenby! They were hilarious together, and just really down to earth, chatting to everyone. This probably only relates to me more so than our guests, but when you organise events like this, the celeb Q&As can start to feel a bit repetitive. These guys were great – they even got the Yacht singing happy birthday to one guest!
You obviously don’t have a stage on the yacht, like you’d do for a normal event. Is it hard to get everyone in the right place for Q&As?
No! It’s incredibly relaxed over there! Once they’re on board, they essentially just chill out and mingle with the guests. You don’t really need to pull people in – if they’re interested, it’ll just happen naturally. Allan McNish was great – he just went straight through and chilled with everybody in the lounge.
Was that on race day?
Yes, on the Sunday morning. Everyone was having their coffee and pastries waiting for the day’s racing to kick off. We are incredibly lucky with our yacht position. We essentially get to see the cars whizz down the corner and then off down the straight, which is just incredible. It honestly feels like you could jump down on to the track from where we are – not that I’d advise it!
What is your biggest priority when throwing an event like this?
Health and safety is always a big one when throwing an event. When that event is on-board a superyacht with 80 guests all drinking, dancing and excited about their weekend, H&S essentially becomes the ultimate priority. Luckily, we’ve been doing this a long time and have never had any issues. Making sure the food is out on time – and the bar isn’t running out of anything – is also a big focus. If we ran out of champagne, I suspect we’d have a problem!!
What’s the food like on board?
Recently I’ve organised a number of high end summer galas and BBQs and the trend this year seems to have shifted into healthy organic food (dare I say vegan?!), smaller portions and lots of well prepared, visually stunning food. Being in Monaco, we want to make the event is glamorous, but I feel like you need something more substantial for an evening such as this! We went for fresh, well prepared, high quality bowl food, with plenty of carb based options to line our guests’ stomachs!
What do you wear to Monaco?
Sadly, I’m in my delightful Paragon garb. I’d love to dress up more – you see some incredible outfits at the Monaco Grand Prix – but guests need to be able to see me easily.